Milovan Djilas was a leader with Tito of the Communist Party of Yugoslavia before World War II, and a Partisan commander alongside Tito in the mountains during the war.
Considered Tito┐s successor, he was Vice President of Yugoslavia until 1954 when he broke with the regime, accusing it of creating a ┐new class┐ of privileged ideologists and bureaucrats. Tito twice jailed Djilas as a dissident. Writing both in prison and out, he produced this extraordinary portrait of Tito in all his complexity; a Communist with aristocratic pretensions and an appetite for luxury; an uncompromising man of passionate involvements, needing women but cruel to them; a brilliant leader who defied the Soviet Union and feared the fate of Yugoslavia following his death. Djilas writes with ferocity and tenderness and sets his story against the early adulation of the Soviets, and the break with the USSR in 1948, the shame of the concentration camp on Goli Otok and the rise of a Communist market economy in Yugoslavia. He describes his own fall from power and the devastation at being betrayed by an old friend.